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March 26, 2019

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Brad Garrett closes out at the Trop, focuses his ample energy on MGM Grand

Brad Garrett's Poker Tournament at Tropicana

Tom Donoghue/

Brad Garrett’s Maximum Hope Foundation Poker Tournament included Annie Duke, Jason Alexander, Ray Romano, Larry and Camille Ruvo, Cheryl Hines and Jose Canseco at the Tropicana on Sept. 17, 2011.

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Brad Garrett

John Katsilometes sits down with comedian Brad Garrett at Garrett's new comedy club at the Tropicana.

Brad Garrett's Poker Tournament at Tropicana

Brad Garrett's Maximum Hope Foundation Poker Tournament included Annie Duke, Jason Alexander, Ray Romano, Larry and Camille Ruvo, Cheryl Hines and Jose Canseco at the Tropicana on Sept. 17, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Brad Garrett had fallen relatively silent since October, when he announced he was pulling his comedy club out of Tropicana and relocating it to MGM Grand.

Relatively silent until this week, anyway.

Blasting through town in his own inimitable, bombastic manner, Garrett has been busily promoting his new venture at MGM Grand. The club is set to open to the public on March 30. Garrett will perform the opening week, along with club vets Ralph Harris, Michael Somerville and Geechy Guy.

As is his custom, Garrett lit up the Fox 5 “More” show studios Tuesday morning to publicize the new club, to be again called Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club. He gave Fox 5 anchor and executive producer Sean McAllister a once-over and said, “You’re such a handsome man — I want to take you on a cruise!” During a promotional clip for the station’s afternoon “Access” show, he was seated with McAllister and anchors Monica Jackson and Rachel Smith and was asked to convey a holiday message.

His effort:

“This is Brad Garrett, wishing everyone but Monica Jackson a white Christmas,” Garrett boomed.

Jackson is black, is the comedic tension there.

The spree was, mostly, what you see of Garrett onstage. He is who he is, and if MGM Resorts International executives get a little anxious about his take-no-hostages material — and I expect that is already happening — so be it. As Garrett says, he is not the comic to tepidly ask, “What the heck is in a McNugget, anyway?”

“I gotta be me,” he repeated Tuesday morning. And who Garrett is remains a torridly funny stand-up whose career at MGM Grand dates to 1993. He has finally book-ended his relationship with the resort by building into the Star Lane Shops area leading from the monorail to the hotel lobby.

Garrett closed at the Trop on Sunday night, and at a post-show party at Casa di Amore restaurant on East Tropicana made sure to thank the resort for a good-faith run at success during his 18 months of operation. His move to MGM Grand enables him to access far more hotel guests, and also pull from MGM Resorts’ collection of rotating comics at other properties.

There is some movement in Garrett’s film career, too, as he learned just Tuesday morning while in the Fox 5 studios that he’d been cast in the upcoming movie “Burt Wonderstone,” set to begin filming in January. The movie is set in Vegas — fortuitously — and stars Steve Carell and Jim Carrey as rival magicians. Carell is a more traditional magic practitioner, while Carrey favors more dangerous illusions (maybe you can deduce that these figures are based on real-life performers). Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde and James Gandolfini also star in the A-list stuffed project, which is directed by “30 Rock” director Don Scardino.

Garrett plays a small role as Carell’s accountant. Despite winning three Emmys for his role on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” he was asked to screen-test for the role before landing the part.

“I’m not above that,” Garrett said, beaming. “I got this part the old-fashioned way!”

And for Brad Garrett, that is the only way.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at

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